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Medical college’s simulation program first in Georgia to receive prestigious accreditation



Courtesy Augusta University

The Medical College of Georgia’s Education Simulation program is the first in Georgia to earn full accreditation from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare’s (SSH) Accreditation Council.

The program provides immersive simulated clinical experiences using low- and high-fidelity mannequins, standardized patients, task trainers and other hands-on technology to create individual, group and interprofessional learning opportunities for MCG students, according to a news release.

MCG Educational Simulation earned full accreditation in the core standards required for all accredited programs, which include mission, resource management, program improvement and integrity. The program also earned accreditation in two additional, optional standards: research and teaching/education.

“Full accreditation is granted for five years, and there are over 230 SSH accredited programs globally,” says Dr. Matt Lyon, MCG’s associate dean for experiential learning. “Accreditation means you have reached the highest standards in simulation education and is an external validation that you’re providing excellent education.” 

Medical College of Georgia simulation lab. Photo by Dana Lynn McIntyre

According to the SSH, simulation education is a bridge between classroom learning and real-life clinical experience. Complex simulation exercises – similar to aviation curricula that provided the basis for health care – may rely on computerized mannequins that perform dozens of human functions realistically in a health care setting such as an operating room or critical care unit that is indistinguishable from the real thing.

The MCG Educational Simulation program was established in 2017. It serves students at MCG’s home base in Augusta and at regional campuses, where students complete the clinical portion of their medical education, in Albany, Savannah/Brunswick and Rome. It also serves MCG’s undergraduate, graduate and continuing medical education programs through the design, development, implementation and study of high-quality clinical simulation activities.

The program is currently led by Dr. A.J. Kleinheksel, assistant dean for educational simulation, who is one of only 81 Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator-Advanced® worldwide, a certification given by the SSH that distinguishes those who have proven themselves to be advanced educators in their practice in health care simulation and serve as mentors and examples to others in the field.

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